Air Battles Over Hungary 1944-45

Published: May 20th, 2021     
Product Image
Front Cover
Author: Dmitriy Khazanov
Reviewed by: Paul R. Brown - IPMS# 24085
ISBN #: 9781913336202
Other Publication Information: Softcover, 150 pages, 48 color profiles, 270+ black & white photographs and maps, published 2021.
Price: $45.00
Product provided by: Casemate Publishers

As an avid reader of books regarding the various aerial campaigns of World War Two, when I saw the title of this book I realized that other that reading about The US Army Air Corps' campaign against the Romanian oil fields I really did not know much about the air war that was fought between Germany and its allies against the Soviet Air Force in southeastern Europe. Given the title of the book, I was looking forward to stories of air combat between Russian Yaks and Laggs and German Messerschmitts and Focke Wulfs, however, this book is actually more of a broad overview of the Russian campaign to drive the Germans from Hungary, particularly the city of Budapest.

The book is organized into nine chapters, each of which discusses a different phase of the battle for Hungary. Each chapter includes a brief written discussion of a different phase of the battle, usually 6 to 8 pages in length, followed by a slew of black and white photographs of aircraft and people of the various air arms that participated in the campaign. The photos are well produced and while they mostly depict aircraft on the ground, many of them provide interesting details of flight operations in this theater. I do not know if any of these photographs have been published before, but there are some gems that I have not seen before, including several photographs of the Lisunov Li-2 (a license-built version of the DC-3) with a top turret. There are also a number of photographs of Lend Lease A-20's flown by the Red Airforce. There are also quite a few photographs of the aircraft flown by the Luftwaffe and the Hungarian Air Force during the campaign, illustrating not only the fighter and attack aircraft used, but also transports, gliders and liaison aircraft.

The color profiles provide left side views of many of the aircraft that were used in the campaign, including not only the famous ones such as the Il-2, Bf 109, Fw 190, Yak-3, Yak-9 and La-5's, but also the lesser-known ones such as the Po-2, Li-2's, Hs 129 and Hungarian Me 210 and Ju 87.

I enjoyed the book as it gives a nice overview of the Russian campaign in Hungary, but it was not what I was expecting as there are very few stories of actual air battles fought between the two sides.

If you are looking of a nice general overview of this campaign or lots of period photographs of the aircraft and combatants for this campaign, you will appreciate this book. However, if you are looking for a more in-depth discussion of the air campaign or a tale of swirling dogfights, this is not the book for you.

Thank you to Casemate Publishing for the review sample and to IPMS-USA for letting me review it.

  • Table of contents
    Table of contents
  • Color profiles
    Color profiles
  • Sample photos
    Sample photos
  • Sample photos
    Sample photos
  • Sample photos
    Sample photos
  • Sample photos
    Sample photos
  • Color profiles
    Color profiles
  • Color profiles
    Color profiles

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